EXPO Chicago brings international contemporary and modern art to Navy Pier


Photography Editor

Richard Norton Gallery, 222 W. Merchandise Mart Plaza, is set todisplay artwork by New York modern artist Hananiah Harari at the 2014Art EXPO Chicago on Navy Pier.

By Assistant Arts & Culture Editor

EXPO Chicago, a contemporary and modern art exhibition featuring works

from 140 galleries and artists from around the world, is hosting its

third annual EXPO Art Week Sept. 18–21 at Navy Pier.

Tony Karman, president and director of EXPO Chicago, said the event

was founded in June 2011 with the first EXPO held in September 2012 at

Navy Pier. This year, the exhibition will represent 17 different

countries and 43 cities internationally, Karman said.

“I think what [spectators] can expect is one of the most relevant

surveys of contemporary work—an extraordinary list of special

exhibitions, one of which is partnered with Columbia called EXPO

Video,” Karman said.

EXPO Chicago’s partnership with Columbia exhibits a selection of

large, dynamic and diverse installations of cutting-edge new media

projects and films.

Karman said EXPO Chicago is trying to maintain the historical aspect

of art fairs in Chicago, which is why the fair takes place at Navy

Pier each year. The pier was home to Chicago’s first international art

fair and was the location where art dealers, collectors and

enthusiasts came for more than 20 years.

“We’re really building on the great legacy of art fairs in Chicago,

which began in 1979,” Karman said. “It’s an extraordinary tradition

that we get to reference and pay homage to as well as redefine the

next 20 years as an art fair in our great city.”

Karman said six international art dealers are appointed to select the

artists and galleries to be shown at the EXPO each year. Art galleries

can submit applications for inclusion in the exhibition, which go

through a detailed selection process carried out by the committee. Of

the finalists, the committee chooses 140 exhibitors, Karman said.

Richard Norton, EXPO Chicago exhibitor and owner of  Richard Norton

Gallery, 222 W. Merchandise Mart Plaza, specializes in American and

European impressionists in modern paintings. Norton said this is the

gallery’s second year participating in the exhibit. The gallery will

be showing a special exhibit of paintings by Hananiah Harari, a modern

artist from New York City who was active in the ‘30s and ‘40s.

“[Harari is] best known for his paintings being a combination of

cubism and surrealism,” Norton said. “These are all paintings from the

estate of the artist, and many haven’t been seen by the public for

over 20 years.”

What will set the Richard Norton Gallery apart from others is its

contrast with other exhibitors with its contemporary art focus.

“A large part of the EXPO is contemporary art,” Norton said. “This

unique show we’re presenting is work that really hasn’t been seen in

the public eye for a number of decades. It’s pretty exciting.”

Anastasia Tinari, associate director at Rhona Hoffman Gallery, 118 N.

Peoria St., works with a mixture of young emerging artists and

conceptual art from the 60s and 70s. The gallery has been a part of

EXPO Chicago since the fair began in 2012 and also participated in Art

Chicago, which was the EXPO’s predecessor.

“Rhona [Hoffman] is very involved with the fair,” Tinari said. “She

has pulled [the Human Rights Watch] organization into the fair so it

is more of a city-wide event that embraces those social organizations

and is not just isolated to the art world.”

Tinari said the Rhona Hoffman Gallery has a lot to offer at this

year’s EXPO. She said she thinks the gallery’s representation of

well-established Chicago artists will set them apart from the rest of

the fair.

“Curators in the international art world know these artists and their

quality of work, but Chicago is not New York,” Tinari said. “Sometimes

artists based in Chicago [might not receive as much] commercial

excitement about their work. I think our representation of those

established Chicago artists is really special as well as those

younger, more emerging artists.”